Nowadays, the selection of dog food is greater than ever before. While the huge range of products means there is something to suit dogs of all breeds, shapes, and sizes. It means pet owners are spoilt for choice, which brings the question: what is the best food to feed your dog? Is wet or dry dog food better? Or is it OK to mix wet and dry dog food? We will cover the specific benefits of each below and the reasons combination feeding is also a suitable choice too.
What are the benefits of wet dog food?
Wet dog food comes in cans, trays, and pouches and has a high water content making it a great option for picky eaters, or those who struggle to chew dry food, or dogs who struggle to hydrate. There are also many other advantages to feeding your dog wet food including:
- Providing your pet with variety in flavour & texture.
- Being more palatable because of its consistency & smell which is great for fussy eaters.
- Its easy-to-chew texture making it suitable for puppies, senior dogs, and dogs of all breeds and sizes.
- Increasing dog’s moisture intake which helps to maintain urinary tract health.
- Fewer calories than dry dog food helping dogs trying to lose weight.
- Typically containing more meat protein than dry dog food.
- Being able to buy in large packets and quantities.
What are the cons of wet dog food?
Although feeding wet dog food has lots of advantages for our pets such as the variety of flavours and strong smell, they may also be seen as cons to us as pet owners. Some other things to keep in mind when opting for wet dog food are:
- The strong smell can be unpleasant to humans.
- It spoils quickly if it is left out for too long, so it's not ideal for dogs that like to slowly graze on their food.
- It is generally more expensive than feeding dry food.
- Dogs typically require more frequent dental cleanings when they are on an only wet food diet.
- It normally creates more waste than dry food with many small cans, pouches, or plastic containers.
What are the benefits of dry dog food?
Dry dog food is the most popular type of dog food as it is convenient to feed and store and commonly more cost-effective than wet dog food. Other reasons why dry dog food is so popular are:
- That it is more concentrated in nutrition so the portion is typically smaller.
- It can be bought in bulk and generally more affordable than wet food.
- It has a longer expiry date than wet dog food and easy to store.
- It doesn’t need to be refrigerated after opening.
- The benefits to you dog's dental health due to the crunch texture.
What are the cons of dry dog food?
Not all dry dog food is created equally, so it’s still important to select the best quality food you can afford, and check the ingredients list and guaranteed analysis on the back of the packet. Consider these other factors when picking dry food for your dog:
- It doesn’t contain as much moisture as wet dog food so your pet will need to drink more water to stay hydrated.
- It can be hard to eat for pets who struggle to chew or those recovering from illness.
- Formulas are often designed to suit dogs of certain sizes and breeds so multiple foods may be needed for multi-dog households.
Can you mix wet and dry dog food?
There are pros and cons to both wet and dry food so many dog owners choose to mix feed their dog. This refers to combining wet and dry dog food together or alternating wet and dry dog food for different meals.
Mix feeding can lower the overall cost of your dog's food while still giving them the benefits of both wet and dry dog food. If you decide to mix wet and dry dog food, it’s important to appropriately adjust the amount you are feeding your pet, so you don’t overfeed them and maintain a healthy diet.
Find out more about the benefits of mixing wet and dry dog food and the three common ways to mix feed your dog in our dog feeding guide series.
Deciding whether to feed your dog wet or dry dog food involves many factors and is dependent on your dog's breed, age, size, and any other dietary requirements or allergies. But whatever you choose, remember the most important thing is that you choose high-quality, wholesome dog food made with natural ingredients so your dog gets optimum nutrition to thrive.